SoundCloud has had a rough year: last summer, it staved off bankruptcy via an eleventh-hour $170 million investment led by Raine and Temasek and the injection of a new CEO, Kerry Trainor. Last week, Trainor (formerly of Vimeo) revealed the music streaming platform’s latest strategy for generating revenue: attracting advertiser dollars based on SoundCloud’s lucrative, young user base. But compared to other leading music streaming services, does SoundCloud have a distinct advantage when it comes to touting (and monetizing) its audience?
How does SoundCloud’s user base stack up?
We analyzed the demographics of SoundCloud’s audience among U.S. adults (ages 18 and over) and compared it to Apple Music, Spotify, and Pandora, the three other leading music streaming services (according to our latest Verto Index: Streaming Music). Note: for this chart, we analyzed mobile users only, or those who accessed each service on a smartphone or tablet device.
According to Verto Watch data, while 35% of SoundCloud’s audience is between the ages of 18-35, the coveted Millennial demographic, Spotify has a clear lead among this age group: more than 50% of Spotify’s audience is comprised of Millennials. And even Apple Music has a bit of an edge over SoundCloud: 38% of its user base is between the ages of 18-35.
And when we examine indexing data for all four services, Spotify’s advantage becomes even more evident: among 18-24 year olds, Spotify indexes 214 (meaning that 18-24 year olds are 2.14 times more likely to use Spotify compared to the general population), compared to SoundCloud, which indexes at 123 for the same group. And even older Millennials – those between the ages of 25-24 – index 157 for Spotify, compared to just 119 for SoundCloud. While SoundCloud is still touting its network of “creators,” and takes credit for launching the careers of many young artists like Chance the Rapper and Lorde, that’s much harder to quantify for advertisers and media buyers.